Thursday, June 26, 2014

Household Tips we wish we would have thought of sooner!

Leaving the nest and living on your own can be a challenge. The things that we didn't learn while growing up amazes us. I guess we just weren't paying attention :P. Here is a list of some random household tips and tricks that we have learned along the way, and really wish that we would have thought of sooner.

Disclaimer: This list contains many revelations that occurred in the form of "duh" moments. Sometimes we seriously wonder how we've survived this long.

KM's Tips
  • If something is stuck to the bottom of a pan put a thin layer of water in the pan to cover it and heat it up until the stuck stuff becomes soft. Hot water also works wonders to dissolve stuck on sugary residue left in pans and bowls after baking or cooking sweets. I can't believe how many pots and pans I needlessly scrubbed to pieces after my many cooking experiments.
  • Want a quick way to steam your veggies but don't want to use one of those steamer things that covered pan like this. Then place your prepped and cleaned veggies in the pan, cover and steam on medium - medium high until just tender. When the veggies are done pour them into a colander to drain and rinse with cold water to shock them and brighten their color. Season to taste. Thanks Rachel Ray!
  • Do you have mystery marks left on your counter, sink, bathtub or other places? Make a paste of something like Bon Ami and water, rub it into the stain and let it sit for awhile. Then scrub it off in a circular motion. I learned about Bon Ami from another blogger and use it to clean just about everything. It's earth friendly and its so cheap! 
  • Always have a ton of dishes to wash? Try to become a dish minimalist and donate any excessive dishes you may have or hide extras away in a closet for when company comes over. If you only have a small amount of dishes, you will be forced to wash them before your next meal. Alternatively you can get differently colored dishes and assign one color to each person. I just did that with my kid's cups and it totally saves my sanity. 
  • Magic. Erasers. If you haven't tried these yet they are such a lifesaver. I don't know why it took me so long to buy one lol! They make the very best dry erase board erasers in addition to all of the other random stuff that they can do.

MR's Tips
  • Never mix ammonia and bleach no matter how dirty your toilet is. It creates toxic gases that can kill you: chemical warfare in your own powder room. This happened and it was bad. We don't even keep ammonia in the house anymore. 
  • Vinegar is an all-purpose cleaner. Works for toilets, sinks, counters - even floors. And I've never heard of it killing anyone. Use distilled white vinegar. 
  •  Always put on gloves when using stainless steel cleaner. What happens if you don't wear gloves? It itches and burns... and peels... and smells really bad. 
  • Baking soda, borax, and castle soap make inexpensive laundry detergent. You only have to use a tablespoon or two per load!
  • Remember to water your cacti. They may be desert plants, but they will die if you forget them on the windowsill behind the  black-velvet curtains for 6 months. 
  • This is a weird one that works for me: listen to the upbeat Cantonese opera tape you found on the ground while folding clothes or mopping. It will give you energy and make you want to do it faster to get the strange screeching out of your ears. This will probably work with any upbeat music you find intriguing, but is slightly grating. Also, don't lend your tape-player to someone who won't give it back.
  • The best one ever. Have such low standards for what is considered clean that your significant other has no choice but to take over. Be nice, though - always thank and praise them, and when they are tired allow them to bribe you to do some of the work.

What helpful little things have you learned along this path called life?

<3 KM and MR

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